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Archive for the ‘surfing’ Category
This is taking extreme sports to the limits – surfing a tsunami wave! What a wave, thanks to pads316 for posting it:
and since it’s Saturday and I don’t have much time… I couldn’t resist posting this video from mobscene1003 of other strange occurrences following a tsunami. Bare with the German write-up (unless of course you understand German in which case I apologise!), the fish are worth having a look at.
You might have noticed something new on our sidebar. SocialVibe has created a way of helping good causes and charities, and we have chosen to support a project that is close to our hearts – the protection of our oceans.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit, grassroots, environmental organisation dedicated to protection and enjoyment of our oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of surfers in Malibu, California, the organisation has grown exponentially.
So you see, surfers are not just beachbums!
Apart from being avid followers of the surfing life, why choose this particular project?
Well, this is something we’ve ranted about before – but did you know that there is a plastic soup in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – known as the dead zone? Here’s a depressing, but important short video from StrangeDaysAction spelling out a few facts for us:
Marine scientist Captain Charles Moore of the Agalita Marine Research Foundation describes a dead zone, an oceanic desert, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean which he calls: Plastic Soup. This trashbin is a huge – I mean seriously HUGE – deep churning cesspool of plastic bits definitely bigger than the state of Texas, and, some say, even bigger, possibly, than AFRICA ! These plastic bits are ingested daily by marine life. And guess what? Who eats marine life? We do.
Scary stuff hmmm?
Captain Moore has measured 6 pounds of plastic for every 1 pound of plankton. He predicts that, unless we do something, in 30 years there will be 60 pounds of plastic particles for every pound of plankton.
And what eats plankton? Plankton is literally the food of life. It is vitally important in the food chain of all marine life.
And lest you are a bit casual about this topic and shrug your shoulders and say, “well, it’s only the Pacific. It’s not our problem, someone will be able to sort it out in due course…” Don’t be misled – there is a similar cesspool in the Atlantic.
Here’s a photograph from National Geographic of an open-air garbage dump which tarnishes the sapphire coast of Barrow, Alaska. Disgusting, isn’t it.
And why should we get personally involved? Well, if you windsurf, kitesurf, scuba dive, snorkel, surf, sail, kayak, freedive, deep water solo to name but a few – you should be concerned. It concerns you directly.
This problem is very nearly out of control. We seriously need to do something about it. And we need to do something NOW.
So click on the sidebar please!
And I’ll leave you on an equally miserable note. Here’s a video from seareport01 on the problem in the Pacific…
So come on guys, let’s do our bit to save our oceans…
The Santa Catarina Pro Surf competition starts 27th June and ends 5th July. This is an important event as the ASP Tour continues towards its final competitions.
And preparations are well under way for what promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable competition. How could it not be… it’s in Brazil after all, a country which knows how to throw not only a competition but a mean party too!
Joaquina and Imbituba are Brazil’s best beachbreaks. They are generally smaller and shorter waves, but they can get powerful and hollow when it pumps. Nice and punchy – a great playground for the surfers to show off their stuff.
The Santa Catarina Pro falls towards the end of the ASP tour and has become renowned as the arena for new champions to be made. The past 6 years has seen the following great surfers crowned:
- 2008: Bede Durbidge (AUS)
- 2007: Mick Fanning (AUS)
- 2006: Mick Fanning (AUS)
- 2005: Damien Hobgood (USA)
- 2004: Taj Burrow (AUS)
- 2003: Kelly Slater (USA)
Joel Parkinson (Australia), Taj Burrow (Aus), Mick Fanning (Aus), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Adriano de Souza (Bra) and Jordy Smith are the top 6 surfers on the ASP tour at the moment with Joel #1 and Jordy #6 – though there is still time for more place juggling.
Joel is the current favourite at the moment for the ASP World Title and he’s determined to keep up his form to claim his first crown this year. His dominating performances on the Gold Coast and at Bells were more than enough proof to stamp Parko’s intentions on the 2009 season. Joel has been training and traveling with Wes Berg, an Australian ironman champion and this has helped him to stay focused and ready for the competition without overdoing the warm-ups or partying too much at night. When interviewed in Tahiti he said, “he’s made me aware of what it means and what it takes to be an elite athlete. It’s easy to just get caught up in Tahitian time and just slide away and lose focus. With Wes there though, he kept me on my toes.”
Here’s a great video from ganothesexyy showing just how good Parko is:
However, good luck to you all – the competition is still open…
There are great surfers in this world, seriously extreme guys (after all, surfing can be an extreme sport), and there are great surfing photographers – seriously extreme photographers, and Bali Strickland must surely fit into the elite of this catagory. Feast your eyes on his video, balistricko, and then I’ll tell you more…
Strickland has been experimenting with a new super slow-motion German underwater TyphoonHD4 camera that the BBC Natural History Unit had had specially modified at a cost of $100,000. It can film at up to twenty times the frame rate of a standard high definition camera..
The camera required a special housing unit designed and built by German specialist high speed cameraman/technician Rudi Diesel. Until this film, no one had ever tried using this type of camera underwater before. The film shows the awesome power of the waves from underwater and the spiraling vortexes created by these huge waves.
It’s only drawback is that it weighs a TONNE. But apart from that the photography is simply extroadinary.
Now watch this, courtesy of the BBC:
So, here’s where they shot this superb film:
They (the BBC) went to the South Pacific Islands with Bali Strickland and Dylan Longbottom, a world class surfer, to film these sequences because it is well known that some of the biggest waves in the world break here.
However, it was not all plain sailing. Confident in the fact that this was one place in the world where the waves were guaranteed … the two weeks they were there gave them almost millpond conditions. They had to return 4 months later to get these fabulous sequences.
Enjoy them, drool over them, and have a wonderful weekend…
Many people think it does…
Situated West of Spain, Portugal has a very mild Mediterranean climate. The coastline receives swells from the North, West and South and therefore has a wide variety of waves.
Every year thousands of surfers flock to the Western coast of Portugal, an area often overlooked by mainstream tourism but well known to surfers for its solid surf. The offshore breezes bring swells across the Atlantic seaboard generating ideal sized waves for surfing and there is such a wide variety of waves around the various beaches that all standards of surfing can be satisfied.
Not only that, but it’s fantastically cheap compared to mainstream Europe. You can hire a villa for as little as €100 a week – you certainly can’t do that in France and you would struggle to do it on the coastline of Spain.
The Algarve, in the south-west of Portugal, is renowned for its pleasant Mediteranean summer climate and its mild winters which makes it a perfect surf-holiday destination. From mellow beach breaks that are ideal for beginners to worldclass point and beach breaks that satisfy any experienced surfer. Since the Algarve is on the southern tip of Portugal it picks up both south and west swells, making it one of the most consistent places to surf in Europe.
During winter the swell size is around the 6ft mark but can get to 15ft or more, offering some challenging surfing. There is surf throughout the summer months and you can expect waves of 3-5ft. Offshore morning breezes are extremely common.
Portugal is also a very good place to learn to surf with plenty of places offering lessons and packages.
Here’s a tantalising hint of what surfing in Portugal can be like, with thanks to ErrantSurf for the video.
“Have as much fun as you possibly can, and quit thinking so much” – Shane McConkey
And why not? Is that not a good motto to live your life by?
Which brings us onto the almost forgotten topic of MAVERICK’s… what happened there? Did the wave happen? was it possible to hold the contest?
As it happens, very sadly the world-renowned Mavericks Surf Contest near Half Moon Bay will not happen this year, making this winter season the fourth that has been skipped since the contest’s creation a decade ago, said contest director Jeff Clark.
The window for the contest closed on Tuesday, 31st March, but Clark said he had extended the permit to use the waters that are a half-mile from Pillar Point Harbor, until 8th April in case a swell materialized.
However, the ocean storms that produce the swells needed for the contest were too weak. The contest organisers are negotiating for the contest window to open earlier next year, possibly as early as 1st November. This year’s contest window opened 1st January, but the months from November to February produce the greatest swells for ideal contest conditions, which are waves of roughly 40 foot.
So a quick re-hash on Maverick – the ultimate extreme big wave… what’s all the fuss about?
Jeff Clark, of Jeff Clark Surfboards and the big wave contest organiser, was brought up 100 ft from the sea and watched the wave for years before deciding to challenge it for the first time in 1975. His good friend decided that he’d rather not, but that he would watch closely and call the coast guards if Jeff needed help!
“That first day I managed to get five waves, barely surviving long enough to kick out of one. It was a great confidence boost for me to have gone where no one had gone before, and to ride waves that were more powerful than anything that I had ever imagined,” he said.
“The 1990s in general brought an amazing assault of big-wave surfing. When Mavericks hit the scene everyone questioned it, but now all of the doubts have been put to rest. Mavericks produces the most consistent big waves in the world, has provided California with a big-wave identity all its own, and has produced some of today’s best big-wave riders…
He sums up by adding, “We are now well into the new millennium and it seems that everything in the world is going in the direction of ‘extreme’, not just in surfing but in all sports. Where it will end I don’t know, but the hunt for better performance and better equipment is really exciting to me. Still, having Mavericks as the testing ground “makes the possibilities endless.”
So, don’t give up on watching this one. It’ll knock your socks off for entertainment value next time it happens…